UTV Software charts overseas growth plan

MUMBAI: UTV Software Communications Limited is bringing its new media initiatives including animation (UTV Toons), post production and SFX businesses (UTV Post) as well as the recent controlling investment in Ignition UK and India Games under the umbrella of UTV-UK. UTV COO Ronald D’Mello will take over as CEO of the new outfit.

D’Mello will spearhead the growth and strategy on the new media business vertical of UTV and will be based in UK and India as required. He will continue to be on the Board of Directors of the parent company UTV and report into the UTV Software Communications Limited group chairman Ronnie Screwvala.

The company is in the process of initiating over 10 broadcasting channels over the next 18 to 24 months as such new media comprising animation and gaming business will be anchored from its subsidiary UTV UK Ltd.

Additionally, UTV has also appointed Shantonu Aditya as executive director of its newly formed subsidiary UTV Broadcasting Ltd and CEO of V&S Broadcasting Limited to perform two key tasks.

1) In UTV Broadcasting Limited, Aditya will set up the entire distribution bouquet of the UTV Group’s forthcoming broadcast initiatives– including the already announced Bindaas and Olive Channels. Furthermore he will also be responsible for strategic initiatives in broadcasting including identification of JV partners.

2) In V&S Broadcasting Limited, Aditya will head the launch and running of variety, entertainment and speciality channels, the details of which will be announced shortly.

Aditya will report to Screwvala. Last week Aditya resigned from Sahara One Media and Entertainment Ltd, where he was CEO. Prior to this, he was with Sony Entertainment Television and SET Discovery Pvt. Ltd. as president.

On the other hand, Zarina Mehta will take charge as CEO, GenX Limited – the youth subsidiary of UTV, which houses the brand Bindass, and its related channels and businesses relating to the youth activity including web, gaming, events, etc.

Mehta will continue to be on the Board of Directors of parent company UTV and report into Screwvala.

Screwvala said, “Ronald D’Mello has been a founding member of UTV and our entire new media initiatives is a very high priority area for the Group that requires a focused attention for high growth, and whose geography is substantially originated in the UK and USA, D’Mello has built a great team in our animation and post production business, aided by another founder colleague Deven Khote who will also be part of the new media group. With the inclusion of Ignition and India Games into our group, D’Mello will have a strong support of industry veterans like Vishal Gondal and Samir Bangara of Indiagames and Vijay Chadha and Andy Whitehurst of Ignition that will make this a crack team to focus on a high growth Agenda that we have set out for new media.”

“Zarina Mehta has been part of the founder directors of the UTV, and with the recent scorching success of Hungama under her leadership, she is one of the best candidates in the industry to grow this virgin and pioneering segment of the Youth Space which represents close to a third of the Indian population. I am delighted to welcome Shantonu Aditya to head our distribution initiatives in broadcasting as well as to launch some very exciting speciality channels that UTV has been ideating on over the last six months. Aditya’s past experience is best suited to build a team and work on these initiatives and to work closely with our future strategic partners in this space,” he added.